Eddie Hearn says he wants to set up a title fight for Joshua Buatsi against WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol if Joshua wins his fight this Saturday night on August 14th against #3 Ricards Bolotniks at the Matchroom HQ in Brentwood, Essex, UK.
#2 WBA Buatsi (14-0, 12 KOs) is taking a step up against the surging Latvian Bolotniks (18-5-1, 8 KOs) in a scheduled 12 round fight live on DAZN.
Although there are better tests out there for Buatsi to prepare him to challenge the unbeaten Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs), Hearn believes the 28-year-old Bolotniks is good enough.
Bolotniks has won his last seven fights since losing to Thabiso Mchunu in 2018. However, it’s difficult to know for certain if Bolotniks has improved or not in the last three years because his opposition has been obscure fighters with limited talent.
Bolotnik’s last seven fights:
- Serge Michel
- Hosea Burton
- Steven Ward
- Sergei Ekimov
- Gasan Gasanov
- Patrick Mendy
- Zura Mekereshvili
“I think if he comes through that, he should fight Dmitry Bivol or he should challenge for a world title,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social on Buatsi in his fight on Saturday against Bolotniks.
“This is the acid test for Joshua Buatsi, and I think this is where you’re going to see him shine. But Bolotniks is so tough.
“I think this is going to be an absolute war, but that’s where I think you’ll see the best of Joshua Buatsi,” said Hearn.
It probably will be a war, but Buatsi is always involved in brawls. That’s his style. He didn’t look so good last October in his fight against Marko Calic. That was probably the toughest test of Buatsi’s career, and he struggled.
It might not be a good idea for Hearn to throw Buatsi in the ring with Bivol after his fight with Bolotniks because he needs to face some talented contenders to help him. Right now, Buatsi will likely be over his head if he faces Bivol next, but perhaps Hearn is hoping he can get lucky.
Buatsi should fight these guys to get him ready for Bivol:
- Gilberto Ramirez
- Callum Johnson
- Badou Jack
- Craig Richards
- Callum Smith
- Marcus Browne
“I look forward to it. I know what I got to do,” said Buatsi about his fight with Bolotniks.
“If it gets tough, I know what I got to do. But I’ve covered all angles and all perspectives and whatever it is. I’ll be ready, so people tune in.
“People say, ‘Step up, step up, step up.’ This is a step up opponent, so we’ll see how it goes. If people feel I’m good, ‘Oh come on, you’ll do well against better opposition.’
“It’s natural for you to want to see that. This is what’s next in line, so we’ll handle it.
“The most I saw of him is when he boxed Wood in that Golden Contract. So I saw that, and it was one rounds. And I saw a bit of him and Burton, and that was about it.
“It’s about proving myself as a fighter, and covering myself in all angles as a fighter. Once I do that, I’ll be able to deal with whoever is in front of me.
“It’s good. I think it’s more fluid now,” said Buatsi about him training with Vergil Hunter in the Bay Area in Northern California. “Now what he says, I can understand him. In the first camp, I was ‘Vergil, what does that mean? What’s this, what’s that.’
“It’s been a minute since I boxed with the crowd there,” said Buatsi about him fighting at the Matchroom HQ on Saturday. “Main event, good opponent.
“He’s ranked at the top of all the governing bodies. I think I am too. All the ingredients that people want, it’s in there. He’s got a good winning streak going on, and so do I.
“We’ll see how it goes. I’m there to win, and anybody is vulnerable. I’m taking them out. There are no two ways about it. It’s a good fight, I’m looking forward to I,” said Buatsi about his fight against Bolotniks.